Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Gilly's Kitchen in Queens: Vegan Pumpkin Pie

If you are vegan (or just allergic to certain ingredients), store-bought pumpkin pies are most likely just a hazy memory. I experimented with several recipes just prior to Thanksgiving and settled on this particular pumpkin pie recipe. Please note that this pie does not taste like a store-bought pie, which may tend to have a very dense filling and a very certain taste (I cannot describe it, but store-bought pumpkin pies all seem to taste the same delicious way). This filling, which is also somewhat dense, has a slightly different taste -- still perfectly pumpkin-y, however -- so you might need a few bites to adjust. As usual, my vegan pumpkin pie passes the stepson test (it is also pareve), and is therefore worthy of publication.

This recipe comes from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's "The Joy of Vegan Baking."

You will need:
a pie crust (I used a 9-inch pre-made graham cracker crust from the supermarket, but you should feel free to make your own -- and if you do, 9 inches should be the absolute minimum size)
12 ounces silken firm tofu
2 cups pumpkin puree (I used Libby's)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. In a food processor, blend the tofu, pumpkin puree, syrup, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, ginger and cloves until smooth and creamy. Scrape the bowl if necessary to get everything fully blended. (my own note - my food processor was actually a touch too small to hold all of the ingredients, and I therefore had to make some creative mid-recipe ingredient adjustments, but it turned out well because generic, store-bought pie crusts tend to run a bit small sometimes anyway.)
3. Pour the mixture into the crust and smooth as necessary. (my own note - to get the "homemade" looking swirls as in my photo, don't smooth the mixture perfectly in the crust. Store-bought pies are always perfectly smooth, probably because they are made by machines.)
4. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned and the outermost inch of the filling appears to be set. The remaining filling towards the center will firm up a bit as the pie cools.
5. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. (my own note - I left the pie in the pie pan and just put the pie pan itself on a wire rack to circulate the air.)
6. Let the pie cool until it is at room temperature and then put the pie in the fridge for 1-2 hours to set.

I find that this pie holds well in the fridge for at least 3 days. For all I know, it holds even longer, but we always eat it all by day 3!

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